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Presentation of the Bikeship Network, in fulfillment of the Biomimicry Student Design Challenge.

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  1. 1. Crea%ng  a  network  of  courteous  bicycle  commuters  
  2. 2. The  DesignMonkeys  Santigie Fofana-Dura! Laura DeVito! Swapna Sketcham!Background: Education! Background: ESL Background: Interior teaching, photography! Design ! Team Manager!Dustin Freemont! Danielle Olson! Mallory Pratt!Background: Political Background: Graphic Background: BiologicalScience! Design.! Sciences and Education! Faculty Mentor!
  3. 3. Green Bomber Worms distract predators with “bombs” that are Fireflies bioluminescent communicate with upon release. ! potential mates through light signals. Could people use light to attract mates?! Our  first   INSPIRATIONS   Ferns produce spores that are Local  to  Oregon   flagellum. Can we somehow utilize rotating locomotion?! Wood Ants heat their nest usingAnts and bees swarm: flexibility, the optimum angle of orientationrobustness and self organization. How and their collective body heat.!can we apply swarming to humans?!
  4. 4. Process…  System  Map:  Biking  in  Portland   Planning  our   website  
  5. 5. Where  do  we  fit  in?  
  6. 6. From Biological Sciences Website: University of California Santa Barbara! Safety   Luminescence can be used to steer away predators. In the case of biking, it is cars that will be warned by lights! A@rac%on  Luminescence can also be usedto attract mates. The attractionof other bikers encourages self organization and propagation of bike culture.!
  7. 7. Our  team  tested  out  different  bike  lights.  
  8. 8. Visit  to  view  our  mock-­‐up  website.  
  9. 9. Find  potenHal  bikeship-­‐mates  on  your  smart-­‐phone!  
  10. 10. The  bikeship  light  glows  in  the  night  
  11. 11. If  you  are  a  new  biker,  check  out  our  recommended  light  products:   Magne%c  induc%on  front     and  rear  light  by  Reelight   Solar  powered  ankle     light  by  Pedalite  
  12. 12. Thank  you  Experts!  Cara  Wilder:  Microbiologist  Don  Harker:  Sustainability  Consultant  Dylan  Varekamp:  The  Bike  Gallery  MaS  Cardinal:  Signal  Cycles  WesternBikeworks  
  13. 13. DesignMonkeys Executive Summary Portland is known for its vibrant and growing bicycle culture. Aside from the healthbenefits of bicycling, cycling to work instead of driving reduces CO2 emissions. The annual BikeCommuter Challenge sponsored by the Bicycle Transportation Alliance logged a total of over22,000 lbs of CO2 emissions* “saved” during September 2011 alone by 286 bike commuters. Portland has the greatest percentage of bicycle commuters, 5.8%, of the nine largest citiesin the nation (Pucher & Buehler, 2011). Of note, men make up roughly 75% of bicyclecommuters. The Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030, adopted by the City Council in 2010, sets a goalof 25% bicycle commuters and an expenditure of $613 million to triple the miles of bicycle pathinfrastructure. While ambitious and impressive for the US, it pales in comparison to the bikingcapital of the world, Amsterdam, where 40% of all traffic is by bicycle. In a study of Portland residents attitudes towards commuting by bike, 60% or roughly300,000 people were class as “Interested But Concerned”, meaning they are willing to adoptcommuting by bicycle, but have obstacles that need to be addressed. The foremost of thoseobstacles is fear, mainly of injury from motor vehicles (Geller, 2009). In another study, it wasfound that womens top concerns are feeling unsafe riding on roads with traffic and not knowingsafe commuting routes (Twaddle et al., 2010). Accordingly, women are twice as interested asmen in having bicycle route maps outlining dedicated bike boulevards and other safetyinfrastructure. Currently, women make up only 25% of bicycle commuters. So the design problem we tackled was to devise a plan that would lure a portion of that“Interested But Concerned” group, many of whom are women, into becoming regular bicyclecommuters in a city north of the 45th parallel (day length <10 hours for 4 months of the year)with an average of 222 cloudy days per year. But this was all arrived at much later in the process.Let’s go back to the beginning. DesignMonkeys early on was most interested in solutions that involved using/alteringcommunication and socialization behaviors. Perhaps that is because team members havebackgrounds that include education, graphic & interior design, ESL, and political science. Ourfirst notion was to find ways of storing energy already present in the biological system of theregion to be substitutes for non-renewable energy sources. In addition, the solution needed to beinexpensive, DIY-friendly and to require minimal use of non-renewable resources. The storedenergy could then be used to power illumination or food transportation heating/cooling currentlypowered by non-renewable energy. Energy from vehicle noise, from algae grown in the ocean,from bicycle riding and from pedestrian movement were all considered as potential sources. Alsoconsidered was the creation of “movable greenspaces” to create gatherings in parking spaces ofbig box stores or similar to promote connection with the natural world and slip in bicyclepromotion at the same time. The two biomimicry strategies that most interested the DesignMonkeys werebioluminescence (the days were getting shorter) and swarming behavior. Both arecommunication and socialization strategies utilized by organisms commonly found in the PacificNorthwest. How could these be harnessed as an energy sink or energy source? At the same time,the team members had become increasingly interested in engaging or utilizing the bicycle cultureof the region as PNCA had recently hosted Oregon Manifest, a design/build competition forspecialty cargo bicycles. We made a system map of biking in Portland and looked to ourbiological inspirations for guidance. We investigated the feasibility of making products withbioluminescent properties, such as bicycle clothing, that would be used for increased safety as
  14. 14. well communication. Given our resources and expertise and having determined that systems forharvesting and storing energy from bicycles already existed, we determined that reducing energyconsumption by increasing bicycle ridership would be our design goal. We then turned to experts in the cycling community for advice and information. Whatcame back was illuminating. Bicycle lights were often an afterthought for cyclists – except forthe hard-core commuters. And despite well-promoted bicycle transportation maps, bicycle-centered events and several high-profile organizations, there was no system for new or aspiringbike commuters to find one another and ride together. This was the starting point that led, the networking website for bicycle commuters in Portland. At first, DesignMonkeys aspired to using different colors of LED lights on bikes toindicate the “romantic” interests of riders – a sort of dating by bicycle. But that became morecomplex and potentially less effective at increasing regular ridership. We reviewed the lightingoptions available for bicycles and settled on one that would be used to signal ones membership inthe network for identification and communication purposes and a recommended second set tomeet safety requirements. The bikeship lights are orange and mount on the bicycle spokes; therecommended set is for the front and rear of the bike. The bikeship lights have LED bulbs, arebattery-powered and made by Cateye. The recommended lights are powered by magneticinduction and made by Reelights. Next came designing the structure of the network and its website. We wanted it to be asuser-friendly as possible, to encourage communication among members and to provide a way foruser-generated interests and information to be shared. Once the user has created a profile thatincludes their commuting information and paid a one-time membership fee of $20, the cyclistcan pick up their first bikeship light for free at a participating bicycle shop. Bikeship memberscan find one another via a Smartphone app, via riders suggested by the website and visually byseeing the bikeship lights. Bikeship members accrue points by giving positive feedback to othermembers and points can then be used for 10% off coupons at participating bike shops. The success of the bikeship network will have many benefits, both social andenvironmental and it can be adapted to any city. It encourages the use of bicycle lights, arequired, but oft-ignored, safety device. It promotes a healthy activity and for every 10 milescommuted reduces CO2 emissions by 9.8 pounds*. An addition of just 10 members per monththat commute only three days/week saves and additional 1,110 lbs of CO2 every month. Thenetwork addresses two top safety concerns of women, a large portion of our target market. And itworks synergistically with the resources that the Portland Department of Transportation hasprovided and is expanding to increase ridership.We envision small swarms of bike commuters meeting in neighborhoods, finding each other bytheir bikeship lights and growing the network, all unaware that they are borrowing from thebehavior of bees and green bomber worms.*based on the US Environmental Protection Agency standard of 0.98 lbs of CO2/ mile emitted by a caraveraging 20 mpg in an urban area.Geller, Roger. 2009 Four Types of Cyclists. Portland Office of Transportation, Portland, OR.Portland Department of Transportation. 2010. The Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030. Available at, John; Dill, Jennifer; Handy, Susan. 2010 Infrastructure, programs, and policies to increasebicycling: An international review. Preventive Medicine 50:S106–S125.Twaddle, Heather; Hall, Fred and Bracic, Blanka 2010 Latent Bicycle Commuting Demand and Effects ofGender on Commuter Cycling and Accident Rates. Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No.2190, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., pp. 28–36.
  15. 15. Lifes Principles:Development with Growth:The freedom that the bikeship system allows cyclists encourages them to self organize. Anyonecan recognize a member of bikeship by the one-of-a-kind orange boomerang light from adistance or up close with its featured logo. This allows users to find each other or non-users tobecome interested. The smart-phone application can be used to find potential bikeship-mates andthe website will also give recommendations for who to connect with. Through using these tools,it is our hope that cyclists will organize themselves into groups to support each other in theirdaily commutes, and that potential cyclists will become more interested. The network buildsitself from the bottom up, making the experience more rich the more people join. The systemitself is made up of components which can be replicated in other cities or expanded into anetwork larger than the city of Portland. Each component in and of itself already exists and issuccessful in other circumstances (facebook, linkedin, bike lights); it is how we have combinedall of the elements that is unique.Adaptation:The Bikeship model demonstrates key components to resilience through the redundancy of thebike light communication system, the potential variations the bike light systems make take anddecentralization. Each person that demonstrates “bikeship” (being a courteous) can berecognized through feedback on that will communicate to fellow cyclists that this person istrustworthy and exemplary in kindness and generosity when involved in bike activities. Theseactivities may include while biking on the road, but may also pertain to giving great biking tipson the Bikeship website. In addition to redundancy through giving bikeship lights, it may alsocreate variations due to the decentralized nature of bike culture. The integrity of the visionbikeship will remain, but the rate in which bikeship light awards are given and the way in whichbike commuters may adapt their own lighting systems for communication with other bikers willlend itself to self renewal.Evolve to Survive:The Bikeship model is especially designed to reinforce the current Portland bike culture,however, the same integral parts of the system can be replicated and integrated in surprising newways that promote social networking and bike safety. The key elements are maintaining Bikeshipvision, creating a light communication system for bike commuters and providing an onlineplatform for conversations to be held about Bikeship worthy topics and events. All of these maybe completely different when applied to a new bike community due to the self-organizationqualities of cyclists.Locally Attuned/Responsive:In order to adapt and evolve to survive, one must be able to be locally attuned and responsive.The innate nature of a cyclist to self organize can be akin to a swarming effect. If one cyclist in apack of cyclists gets slows down or speeds up, the other cyclists must quickly self organize inorder for the system to continue moving smoothly. This type of behavior can be noticed incyclist races and also when viewing a flock of birds. The Bikeship light communication systemwill serve as a feedback loop in the bike community. These feedback loops will be promotingbike safety and bike kinship. The Bikeship light not only serves as a message to others that the
  16. 16. person is trustworthy and has demonstrated an act of kindness associated with the bikingcommunity, but also an icebreaker. This icebreaker will encourage communication on the bikecommute, find common commuting routes and exchange useful information about routes.Overall, this Bikeship model was created for the sole reason that Portland has a significant bikingpopulation already that can be increased beyond the current bike commuter community.